Nov 19

Emirates Diplomatic Academy Launches Women in Diplomacy Network at Abu Dhabi Diplomacy Conference

Nov 19, 2018

The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) today launched the ‘Women in Diplomacy Network’, a global platform designed to offer practical and policy-oriented solutions to help women excel in their foreign affairs and public diplomacy careers.

The initiative was announced on the opening day of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Diplomacy Conference that is currently underway in Abu Dhabi. Convened under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the two-day event has brought together more than 300 high-profile personalities, industry thought leaders and practitioners to contribute to discussions shaping the future of diplomacy.

Announcing its launch, Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Deputy Director General of EDA, said that the Women in Diplomacy Network is the outcome of an extensive study that sheds light on gender balance within the field of diplomacy.

The research, conducted by EDA, maps the percentage of female ambassadors representing the countries of the G20 and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in 2018. It indicates that out of the 2,607 ambassadors currently appointed by G20 countries, only 435, or 16.7 per cent, are women.

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Highlighting the results of the study during her presentation on the ‘EDA Gender and Diplomacy Diplograph’, Dr Nawal Al-Hosany said: “While we witness a higher representation of female diplomats today, it is still rare to find them in the role of ambassador, which is widely seen as the pinnacle of a diplomatic career. Hence, we felt a pressing need to create a platform for discussion on the subject.”

Australia leads the G20 countries with women holding 35.9 per cent of ambassadorial posts in 2018, followed by Canada at 35.6 per cent and the United States at 33.1 per cent.

The UAE is among a group of few nations in the region that are making trailblazing changes to transform diplomacy into a more gender-inclusive field. Currently, the UAE has seven women ambassadors serving in key posts around the world and in international organisations.

Dr Nawal Al-Hosany added: “The founding father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose memory is celebrated during the Year of Zayed, firmly stood behind women’s equal participation in our country’s development. This legacy is continued under the leadership of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the unwavering support of our Mother of the Nation Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, who has been an inspirational role model for all women in the country and beyond.”

Speaking on the importance of launching the Network, she said: “The Women in Diplomacy Network is testament to EDA’s commitment to contribute to the UAE’s mission of promoting female empowerment and gender equality. I am confident it will serve as a tool of empowerment for aspiring and practicing diplomats to learn from experts in the field and exchange ideas.”

The inaugural edition of the Abu Dhabi Diplomacy Conference is taking place from 14-15 November 2018 in Abu Dhabi. Attendees at the conference comprise ministers, serving diplomats from a wide range of countries, former senior diplomats, as well as directors of diplomatic academies and leading young diplomats and trainees from around the world.

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